About LEED BD+C Certification & Credentials

LEED BD+C is the most popular LEED rating system and specialty AP credential. LEED BD+C is most similar to the original “legacy” LEED AP designation and stands for “Building Design and Construction”.  As the name implies, this LEED rating system and AP credential are for professionals involved in the design and new construction (or major remodeling) of green buildings.

In summary, LEED BD+C looks to achieve:

  • Short and long-term cost-effectiveness
  • A holistic, integrated design process in place of traditional fragmentation
  • Measurable, optimal levels of building, human and environmental performance

The LEED BD+C building certification and professional credentials are overseen by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which is the credentialing subsidiary of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED BD+C Building Certification

Constructing building with high crane under clear sky depicting an example of a LEED BD+C (LEED Building Design and Construction) building

BD+C is appropriate for numerous project types.

LEED v4.1 includes BD+C rating systems for categories including:

  • New Construction & Major Renovation
  • Core and Shell (Instances where tenants will further outfit their individual spaces)
  • Schools
  • Distribution Centers & Warehouses
  • Full-Spectrum Retail (Including showroom space and storage areas)
  • Hospitality (lodging, with or without food)
  • Data Centers (60%+ of the building needs to be data center for BD+C)
  • Hospitals & Healthcare Facilities
  • Multi-family Residential

LEED BD+C updates the traditional process where design and construction activities operate independently from one another.  In LEED, Integrative teams collectively find solutions to challenges that benefit one another rather than create unintended consequences for other members of the design and construction teams working on the project.  This web of communication, planning, and cooperation between project teams of disparate building systems is unconventional from the silos in which most teams traditionally operate.  The result of this symbiotic approach to design and construction is an efficient building that improves the lives of its occupants and reduces its impact on the environment both today and tomorrow.

LEED BD+C uses three phases:

  • Discovery- the crucial predesign process which integrates teams and ensures goals will be met
  • Implementation (Design & Construction)- this step will be familiar in nature to conventional processes but applies the learnings and considerations of the integrative discovery phase
  • Performance Feedback- this final phase ensures measurement and feedback loops are in place so performance can be compared to targets. Any necessary modifications can be quickly addressed

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What is the LEED AP BD+C Professional Credential?

Want to put your career into overdrive and work on LEED BD+C and other green building projects?  Whereas buildings are certified, individuals earn credentials.  The LEED AP (Accredited Professional) BD+C credential is specifically designed to ensure members of LEED project teams have the necessary expertise and skills to be a contributing member of the design process.

LEED AP BD+C Credential Exam Prep Certication;

What jobs benefit from the LEED AP BD+C LEED credential?

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Developers
  • Construction Superintendents
  • HVAC Designers & Installers
  • Sustainability Consultants
  • Developers
  • Investors
  • Students preparing to enter the workforce in the above roles

Interested in LEED credentials but not sure how to start? We have a road map of exactly what and how to study to pass the LEED AP BD+C exam on your first try when you get our best and #1-selling deal -> GBES UNLIMITED. It is by far our best deal because it gives you 12 months of access to all of our LEED AP BD+C which have been trusted by more than half of all LEED AP BD+C professionals. Also, it includes LEED Green Associate study materials in case you haven’t passed that prerequisite exam yet as well as all other LEED AP credentials you might like to pursue next. Finally, it included all the continuing education you could ever need to maintain your credential(s)!

What type of questions are on the BD+C Exam?

The test assumes a base level of green building and sustainability knowledge (after all, the LEED Green Associate credential is a prerequisite) and delves into advanced technical areas related to the specialty.  The LEED AP BD+C exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. As of the August 2019 update, question areas include the LEED process, integrative strategies, location and transportation, site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resources, indoor environmental quality and project surrounding and public outreach. Questions are only asked about LEED v4 (not LEED v4.1). Currently, LEED v4.1 is only applicable and relevant to projects. It’s an exam you’ll need to study for in order to pass, but it’s also an exam you can study fewer hours for and pass the first time with the right tools.  Like the other LEED AP specialty credentials, continuing education is required every two years to maintain the credential.



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